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Friday, February 22, 2008

eSchool Top News and Site of the Week

Please be sure to check out the news below.

TCEA 2008 serves up ed-tech wisdom

New York Times technology columnist David Pogue entertains TCEA conference-goers.
See the eSN-TV video "Teaching the Net Generation".


Educators and ed-tech specialists who attended the 2008 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin got a Texas-size helping of new educational technology ideas, approaches, and solutions to take back to their schools.
With more than 8,500 registered attendees from all over the nation, this year's TCEA conference was the largest ever, said TCEA Executive Director Ron Cravey.

Site of the Week

Microsoft and HP introduce new teacher exchange web site

Microsoft and HP have teamed up to introduce an online project called the Teacher Experience Exchange (TEE). This new web site provides educators with a one-stop resource to discuss, share, and learn with other educators and to access tutorials for teaching with technology in the classroom. Educators are encouraged to preview the TEE web site and join the group of initial Teacher Advisors to provide feedback on proposed content, or simply pre-register to become a member and see some of the features to come.

Source: eSchool News


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eSchool Top News and Site of the Week

Please be sure to check out the news below.

TCEA 2008 serves up ed-tech wisdom

New York Times technology columnist David Pogue entertains TCEA conference-goers.
See the eSN-TV video "Teaching the Net Generation".


Educators and ed-tech specialists who attended the 2008 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin got a Texas-size helping of new educational technology ideas, approaches, and solutions to take back to their schools.
With more than 8,500 registered attendees from all over the nation, this year's TCEA conference was the largest ever, said TCEA Executive Director Ron Cravey.

Site of the Week

Microsoft and HP introduce new teacher exchange web site

Microsoft and HP have teamed up to introduce an online project called the Teacher Experience Exchange (TEE). This new web site provides educators with a one-stop resource to discuss, share, and learn with other educators and to access tutorials for teaching with technology in the classroom. Educators are encouraged to preview the TEE web site and join the group of initial Teacher Advisors to provide feedback on proposed content, or simply pre-register to become a member and see some of the features to come.

Source: eSchool News


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

e-Learning Reloaded: Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Info Junkies, Researchers & Students by Jessica Hupp

The Online Education Database has just published a new article:
e-Learning Reloaded: Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Info Junkies, Researchers & Students.

There's a reason why the Web is called the information superhighway-it's full of seemingly limitless resources for learning and research. And with the advent of Web 2.0, harnessing this information has never been easier.
This is such a great list of the best tools for organizing, citing, searching, and more online.


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e-Learning Reloaded: Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Info Junkies, Researchers & Students by Jessica Hupp

The Online Education Database has just published a new article:
e-Learning Reloaded: Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Info Junkies, Researchers & Students.

There's a reason why the Web is called the information superhighway-it's full of seemingly limitless resources for learning and research. And with the advent of Web 2.0, harnessing this information has never been easier.
This is such a great list of the best tools for organizing, citing, searching, and more online.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

T.H.E. Journal Online!

Microsoft 'DreamSpark' Makes Software Free for Students
By Dian Schaffhauser

Microsoft has announced a software giveaway program targeted to college and high school students. "DreamSpark" makes available, at no charge, a number of development and design programs for download. The program is now available to more than 35 million college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United States.

Related link

Homework or Busywork? Attitudes Soften, but Quality Still Questioned
By Dave Nagel

Educators might be striking a happy balance between homework that's assigned to promote learning and homework that's perceived by students and parents as "busywork." As recently as 2002, a vast 74 percent of secondary students described their homework as busywork. Now, however, that's down significantly, with just 30 percent holding that attitude, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the "MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: The Homework Experience." But it also showed a "disconnect" between teachers and parents on the quality of assignments.

Related link





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T.H.E. Journal Online!

Microsoft 'DreamSpark' Makes Software Free for Students
By Dian Schaffhauser

Microsoft has announced a software giveaway program targeted to college and high school students. "DreamSpark" makes available, at no charge, a number of development and design programs for download. The program is now available to more than 35 million college students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United States.

Related link

Homework or Busywork? Attitudes Soften, but Quality Still Questioned
By Dave Nagel

Educators might be striking a happy balance between homework that's assigned to promote learning and homework that's perceived by students and parents as "busywork." As recently as 2002, a vast 74 percent of secondary students described their homework as busywork. Now, however, that's down significantly, with just 30 percent holding that attitude, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the "MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: The Homework Experience." But it also showed a "disconnect" between teachers and parents on the quality of assignments.

Related link





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eSchool News Review

U.S. educators seek new ideas abroad by Robert L. Jacobson, Senior Editor.

Have other countries found new keys to educational progress that the U.S. has yet to discover?
What lessons might American educators learn about how other countries are using educational technology? And is that even the right question? An eSchool News review of the subject suggests that the answers are not necessarily clear cut.

Related links


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eSchool News Review

U.S. educators seek new ideas abroad by Robert L. Jacobson, Senior Editor.

Have other countries found new keys to educational progress that the U.S. has yet to discover?
What lessons might American educators learn about how other countries are using educational technology? And is that even the right question? An eSchool News review of the subject suggests that the answers are not necessarily clear cut.

Related links


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Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging eLearning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth

Do you want to create e-learning courses that engage your learners.
Effective e-learning involves much more than just putting PowerPoint shows on the Web.

Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging eLearning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth focuses exclusively on the application of PowerPoint to the creation of online training programs. This book fills that gap. By providing in depth guidance, specific instructions, and helpful exercises, the book will enable training practitioners to create impactful learning interactions in PowerPoint.

About Jane Bozarth, M.Ed.

She is North Carolina's self-appointed "E-Learning Goddess". While her specialty is in finding ways to cut the high costs of e-learning, Jane is also a popular classroom instructor and motivational speaker. Recent work travels have taken her to Ireland, Canada, and Australia. She enjoys business writing; her book reviews appear monthly in Training Magazine. She has additionally published feature articles in Training, Journal of Educational Technology and Society, Law Enforcement Trainer Magazine, and Creative Training Techniques Newsletter.
Jane's first book, E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring, was published by Pfeiffer in 2005, and has been followed with Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging E-Learning with PowerPoint and From Analysis to Evaluation: Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Trainers. She has also contributed to the 2008 Pfeiffer Annual on Consulting, The ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, The E-Learning Handbook, and The Trainers' Portable Mentor.

Related links


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Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging eLearning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth

Do you want to create e-learning courses that engage your learners.
Effective e-learning involves much more than just putting PowerPoint shows on the Web.

Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging eLearning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth focuses exclusively on the application of PowerPoint to the creation of online training programs. This book fills that gap. By providing in depth guidance, specific instructions, and helpful exercises, the book will enable training practitioners to create impactful learning interactions in PowerPoint.

About Jane Bozarth, M.Ed.

She is North Carolina's self-appointed "E-Learning Goddess". While her specialty is in finding ways to cut the high costs of e-learning, Jane is also a popular classroom instructor and motivational speaker. Recent work travels have taken her to Ireland, Canada, and Australia. She enjoys business writing; her book reviews appear monthly in Training Magazine. She has additionally published feature articles in Training, Journal of Educational Technology and Society, Law Enforcement Trainer Magazine, and Creative Training Techniques Newsletter.
Jane's first book, E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring, was published by Pfeiffer in 2005, and has been followed with Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging E-Learning with PowerPoint and From Analysis to Evaluation: Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Trainers. She has also contributed to the 2008 Pfeiffer Annual on Consulting, The ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, The E-Learning Handbook, and The Trainers' Portable Mentor.

Related links


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Monday, February 18, 2008

Good Medical Practice, E-Learning From the GMC

The GMC has launched an exciting new interactive web zone for doctors to bring its core guidance, Good Medical Practice, to life.

Good Medical Practice in Action invites the user to be the doctor in a series of ethical case studies which highlight some important issues addressed in the GMC’s guidance booklet.
The action starts with four patients in a waiting room. The user is able to click on one of the patients to watch and listen to their consultation with a doctor. As each ethical dilemma reveals itself, the user is called on to decide which option is the best match to the GMC’s guidance in Good Medical Practice. GMC Standards Committee member Dr Nicola Toynton gives feedback on the user’s decision, with links to the GMC’s website to view the guidance itself.


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Good Medical Practice, E-Learning From the GMC

The GMC has launched an exciting new interactive web zone for doctors to bring its core guidance, Good Medical Practice, to life.

Good Medical Practice in Action invites the user to be the doctor in a series of ethical case studies which highlight some important issues addressed in the GMC’s guidance booklet.
The action starts with four patients in a waiting room. The user is able to click on one of the patients to watch and listen to their consultation with a doctor. As each ethical dilemma reveals itself, the user is called on to decide which option is the best match to the GMC’s guidance in Good Medical Practice. GMC Standards Committee member Dr Nicola Toynton gives feedback on the user’s decision, with links to the GMC’s website to view the guidance itself.


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Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)

Just look at these interesting articles, appears in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) 2008, 24(1).

Academic and student use of a learning management system: Implications for quality
Debbi Weaver,
Swinburne University of Technology, Christine Spratt and Chenicheri Sid Nair, Monash University

Abstract
Many higher education institutions have implemented a learning management system (LMS) to manage online learning and teaching, with varying levels of support provided to staff and students, but often there is little subsequent investigation into the quality of the online sites or the use made of the support structures provided. This paper presents findings from an institutional survey investigating the use of WebCT by academic staff and students in their learning and teaching at a large Australian university.

Prerequisites for interactive learning in distance education: Perspectives from Swedish students
Berit Östlund

Abstract
This article investigates distance students' understanding of the prerequisites for interactive learning in asynchronous, computer mediated university distance studies. It encompasses students' attitudes to structure, dialogue and autonomy, and their experience of social presence and what they consider interaction with peer learners signifies for their learning. The data were collected from an undergraduate and a masters course within the teacher training distance program, using questionnaires, interviews, diaries and analysis of students' contributions in FirstClass and WebBoard respectively.

Postgraduate students' knowledge construction during asynchronous computer conferences in a blended learning environment: A Malaysian experience
Hong Kian-Sam and Julia Ai Cheng Lee

Abstract
Blended learning, using e-learning tools to supplement existing on campus learning, often incorporates asynchronous computer conferencing as a means of augmenting knowledge construction among students. This case study reports findings about levels of knowledge construction amongst adult postgraduate students in six asynchronous computer conferences in a blended learning environment. The aim is to document and understand the kinds of task related postings in asynchronous computer conferencing that foster knowledge construction.


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Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)

Just look at these interesting articles, appears in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) 2008, 24(1).

Academic and student use of a learning management system: Implications for quality
Debbi Weaver,
Swinburne University of Technology, Christine Spratt and Chenicheri Sid Nair, Monash University

Abstract
Many higher education institutions have implemented a learning management system (LMS) to manage online learning and teaching, with varying levels of support provided to staff and students, but often there is little subsequent investigation into the quality of the online sites or the use made of the support structures provided. This paper presents findings from an institutional survey investigating the use of WebCT by academic staff and students in their learning and teaching at a large Australian university.

Prerequisites for interactive learning in distance education: Perspectives from Swedish students
Berit Östlund

Abstract
This article investigates distance students' understanding of the prerequisites for interactive learning in asynchronous, computer mediated university distance studies. It encompasses students' attitudes to structure, dialogue and autonomy, and their experience of social presence and what they consider interaction with peer learners signifies for their learning. The data were collected from an undergraduate and a masters course within the teacher training distance program, using questionnaires, interviews, diaries and analysis of students' contributions in FirstClass and WebBoard respectively.

Postgraduate students' knowledge construction during asynchronous computer conferences in a blended learning environment: A Malaysian experience
Hong Kian-Sam and Julia Ai Cheng Lee

Abstract
Blended learning, using e-learning tools to supplement existing on campus learning, often incorporates asynchronous computer conferencing as a means of augmenting knowledge construction among students. This case study reports findings about levels of knowledge construction amongst adult postgraduate students in six asynchronous computer conferences in a blended learning environment. The aim is to document and understand the kinds of task related postings in asynchronous computer conferencing that foster knowledge construction.


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Approaches to Case Analyses in Synchronous and Asynchronous Environments by Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. and Gina Phipps, Ed.D.

Read this paper I thought you may find interesting, appears in Volume 13, Issue 2, January 2008 edition of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.


Approaches to case analyses in synchronous and asynchronous environments
Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. and Gina Phipps, Ed.D.

Abstract

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools can be used to integrate time-intensive tasks, such as case study analyses, more easily into formal learning environments. How students talk together online in CMC environments is an area that has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper extends findings from a previous study by comparing two groups of preservice teachers analyzing cases in a synchronous and asynchronous environment. A case study and computer-mediated discourse analysis approach was taken to make sense of the discussion transcripts and student reflections. Booth and Hulten’s (2003) taxonomy of learning contributions is used as an analysis framework. Students made more participatory moves to establish presence in asynchronous environments and more interactive moves in synchronous environments. Reflective contributions were made in both environments, with few learning moves made in either. Students participated asymmetrically in both modes. The interplay between types of contributions, affordances of each mode, student preferences and student epistemological beliefs is explored, with implications for the design and analysis of case discussion tasks in CMC environments.


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Approaches to Case Analyses in Synchronous and Asynchronous Environments by Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. and Gina Phipps, Ed.D.

Read this paper I thought you may find interesting, appears in Volume 13, Issue 2, January 2008 edition of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.


Approaches to case analyses in synchronous and asynchronous environments
Trena M. Paulus, Ph.D. and Gina Phipps, Ed.D.

Abstract

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools can be used to integrate time-intensive tasks, such as case study analyses, more easily into formal learning environments. How students talk together online in CMC environments is an area that has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper extends findings from a previous study by comparing two groups of preservice teachers analyzing cases in a synchronous and asynchronous environment. A case study and computer-mediated discourse analysis approach was taken to make sense of the discussion transcripts and student reflections. Booth and Hulten’s (2003) taxonomy of learning contributions is used as an analysis framework. Students made more participatory moves to establish presence in asynchronous environments and more interactive moves in synchronous environments. Reflective contributions were made in both environments, with few learning moves made in either. Students participated asymmetrically in both modes. The interplay between types of contributions, affordances of each mode, student preferences and student epistemological beliefs is explored, with implications for the design and analysis of case discussion tasks in CMC environments.


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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Special Issue: e-Learning in Health Care

Just look at this interesting line-up in The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, February 2008, Volume 5, Number 4, Special Issue: e-Learning in Health Care:

E-learning is viewed as one way to support the development of healthcare professionals, offering flexible access to materials which enable practitioners to meet life-long learning agendas.
These papers present current international developments in the sector and capture the range of engagement in e-learning from the instructivist provision of information through to engaging students in constructivist learning online.
The growing impetus to develop and embrace e-learning in health care led to the convening of a mini-track at the 6th European Conference on E-Learning (ECEL) held in Denmark in 2007 and to invitations to support this Special Edition of the journal.

A Nurse Prescribing Programme Incorporating e-Learning
Joan Burgess
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Winchester, UK

Exploring Virtual Opportunities to Enhance and Promote an Emergent Community of Practice
Kathy Courtney
Coventry University, UK

Mollie Gilchrist
Coventry University, UK

Lesley Lockyer, Pam Moule and Deirdre McGuigan
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Y.Q. Mohammed, G. Waddington, and P. Donnan
University of Canberra, Australia

Andy Pulman,
School of Health & Social Care, Bournemouth University, UK







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Special Issue: e-Learning in Health Care

Just look at this interesting line-up in The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, February 2008, Volume 5, Number 4, Special Issue: e-Learning in Health Care:

E-learning is viewed as one way to support the development of healthcare professionals, offering flexible access to materials which enable practitioners to meet life-long learning agendas.
These papers present current international developments in the sector and capture the range of engagement in e-learning from the instructivist provision of information through to engaging students in constructivist learning online.
The growing impetus to develop and embrace e-learning in health care led to the convening of a mini-track at the 6th European Conference on E-Learning (ECEL) held in Denmark in 2007 and to invitations to support this Special Edition of the journal.

A Nurse Prescribing Programme Incorporating e-Learning
Joan Burgess
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Winchester, UK

Exploring Virtual Opportunities to Enhance and Promote an Emergent Community of Practice
Kathy Courtney
Coventry University, UK

Mollie Gilchrist
Coventry University, UK

Lesley Lockyer, Pam Moule and Deirdre McGuigan
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Y.Q. Mohammed, G. Waddington, and P. Donnan
University of Canberra, Australia

Andy Pulman,
School of Health & Social Care, Bournemouth University, UK







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BlogNetNews.com has launched BNN/Education


Editor of BNN, Dave Mastio has been in touch to reminds us about the following below:

BlogNetNews.com has just launched BNN/Education , a single site to track what's going on in the Education blogosphere. The site's core is links to the latest posts from the best Education blogs, targeted Education blog search and a handy headline service Education bloggers can use to promote each others' latest posts (found under "services" in the left rail).
You'll also find links to the news stories Education bloggers have linked most in the last 24 hours, where the most new comments are and which blogs are producing the most new posts.


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BlogNetNews.com has launched BNN/Education


Editor of BNN, Dave Mastio has been in touch to reminds us about the following below:

BlogNetNews.com has just launched BNN/Education , a single site to track what's going on in the Education blogosphere. The site's core is links to the latest posts from the best Education blogs, targeted Education blog search and a handy headline service Education bloggers can use to promote each others' latest posts (found under "services" in the left rail).
You'll also find links to the news stories Education bloggers have linked most in the last 24 hours, where the most new comments are and which blogs are producing the most new posts.


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Columbia University Partners with Microsoft to Digitize Books


Columbia University and Microsoft Corp. are collaborating on an initiative to digitize a large number of books from Columbia University Libraries and make them available to Internet users. With the support of the Open Content Alliance (OCA), publicly available print materials in Columbia Libraries will be scanned, digitized, and indexed to make them readily accessible through Live Search Books.

Columbia University and Microsoft are partners in the Open Content Alliance, along with the Boston Library Consortium, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Toronto among others. The alliance, which has made open access a core component of its mission, is scanning only out-of-copyright materials.
The initiative will allow students, researchers, and scholars to have global access to books in the public domain from the Libraries’ outstanding collections via Live Search Books. Published material in digital libraries offers an alternative and reliable source of information to that gleaned from general web searches.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.


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Columbia University Partners with Microsoft to Digitize Books


Columbia University and Microsoft Corp. are collaborating on an initiative to digitize a large number of books from Columbia University Libraries and make them available to Internet users. With the support of the Open Content Alliance (OCA), publicly available print materials in Columbia Libraries will be scanned, digitized, and indexed to make them readily accessible through Live Search Books.

Columbia University and Microsoft are partners in the Open Content Alliance, along with the Boston Library Consortium, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Toronto among others. The alliance, which has made open access a core component of its mission, is scanning only out-of-copyright materials.
The initiative will allow students, researchers, and scholars to have global access to books in the public domain from the Libraries’ outstanding collections via Live Search Books. Published material in digital libraries offers an alternative and reliable source of information to that gleaned from general web searches.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.


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Forthcoming Webcasts Innovate

James L Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, Innovate reminds us about the following below.

The February/March author webcast series begins Tuesday, February19th. Check out the schedule at:

Related link


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Forthcoming Webcasts Innovate

James L Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, Innovate reminds us about the following below.

The February/March author webcast series begins Tuesday, February19th. Check out the schedule at:

Related link


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Virtual Reality Campus Draws Students by Ian MacDonald


Prof teaches classes on an island campus in Second Life

Computer program Second Life allows users to enter a virtual world with a very real economy, and a MUN business prof is putting the popular virtual world to work for him and his class. Spanning over 65,000 acres and home to a population of more than 12 million, Second Life is one of the largest and most popular virtual worlds on the market.
Users just have to pick a name, download the program, and customize their character, which is called an avatar. After that they’re dropped off to terrorize the town, meet some people, or create a business to earn some cash. If you’re feeling really spiffy, you can buy an island or two, like MUN did.
“Memorial University and Distance Education actually have two islands that they have in Second Life,” said MUN business prof Lyle Wetsch. “They’ve built a campus for us on one of the islands.”

Source: The Muse


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Virtual Reality Campus Draws Students by Ian MacDonald


Prof teaches classes on an island campus in Second Life

Computer program Second Life allows users to enter a virtual world with a very real economy, and a MUN business prof is putting the popular virtual world to work for him and his class. Spanning over 65,000 acres and home to a population of more than 12 million, Second Life is one of the largest and most popular virtual worlds on the market.
Users just have to pick a name, download the program, and customize their character, which is called an avatar. After that they’re dropped off to terrorize the town, meet some people, or create a business to earn some cash. If you’re feeling really spiffy, you can buy an island or two, like MUN did.
“Memorial University and Distance Education actually have two islands that they have in Second Life,” said MUN business prof Lyle Wetsch. “They’ve built a campus for us on one of the islands.”

Source: The Muse


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What Do You Mean When You Say "Usability"? By Carol M. Barnum

In this article, author Carol Barnum, director of the Usability Center at Southern Polytechnic State University, provides a workable definition for usability and a foundation for making online courses more usable and successful.

Usability and e-learning seem a natural fit. Usability is one of the five subject areas on eLearn Magazine's homepage. That's a good thing. But do we all mean the same thing when we say "usability"?
If you are using the term interchangeably with "assessment"—whether by students or experts or perhaps yourself as the surrogate student and actual expert—then you are using it to mean something less than it should. If you think of usability as meaning quality, particularly as it refers to the quality of the content, you're addressing an important criterion of usability, but you are not getting at the crux of the matter. Likewise, if you equate usability with validation, particularly as it refers to the functionality of the learning management system (LMS), then you are again restricting usability to something that can be checked, confirmed, and certified as usable, but you are not getting at the true meaning of usability.

About the Carol M. Barnum, Ph.D.
She is the Director of the Usability Center, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta (Georgia), USA, and graduate program coordinator for the M.S. program in Information Design and Communication, including four online graduate certificate programs in technical communication and advanced topics.


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What Do You Mean When You Say "Usability"? By Carol M. Barnum

In this article, author Carol Barnum, director of the Usability Center at Southern Polytechnic State University, provides a workable definition for usability and a foundation for making online courses more usable and successful.

Usability and e-learning seem a natural fit. Usability is one of the five subject areas on eLearn Magazine's homepage. That's a good thing. But do we all mean the same thing when we say "usability"?
If you are using the term interchangeably with "assessment"—whether by students or experts or perhaps yourself as the surrogate student and actual expert—then you are using it to mean something less than it should. If you think of usability as meaning quality, particularly as it refers to the quality of the content, you're addressing an important criterion of usability, but you are not getting at the crux of the matter. Likewise, if you equate usability with validation, particularly as it refers to the functionality of the learning management system (LMS), then you are again restricting usability to something that can be checked, confirmed, and certified as usable, but you are not getting at the true meaning of usability.

About the Carol M. Barnum, Ph.D.
She is the Director of the Usability Center, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta (Georgia), USA, and graduate program coordinator for the M.S. program in Information Design and Communication, including four online graduate certificate programs in technical communication and advanced topics.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ALEKS Debuts Online Math System by Dave Nagel

Education technology developer ALEKS has debuted a new online math tool called QuickTables.

Targeted toward grade 3 and up, the system is designed to provide math practice coupled with individualized assessments for immediate remediation.
ALEKS QuickTables focuses on mastery addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with an interactive "Student Module" for ongoing assessments, progress tracking, review, practice, and various other features. It also includes interactive educational games and correlates with NCTM standards.

Related links


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ALEKS Debuts Online Math System by Dave Nagel

Education technology developer ALEKS has debuted a new online math tool called QuickTables.

Targeted toward grade 3 and up, the system is designed to provide math practice coupled with individualized assessments for immediate remediation.
ALEKS QuickTables focuses on mastery addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with an interactive "Student Module" for ongoing assessments, progress tracking, review, practice, and various other features. It also includes interactive educational games and correlates with NCTM standards.

Related links


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